I was looking at the Dakine packs this weekend and I don't necessarily see anything special about them. Maybe you Dakine owners could fill me in on what I am overlooking. Most of the "day packs" out there are half way decent. Kelty seems to have a number of decent ones as do Mountainsmith. Thing to remember is to find a pack that will do what you want it to do, basically carry all that you need to take. I just bought a Jansport Polaris 33 model. It is a 2000ci day pack that has a built in hydration system. It will carry all that I need to carry, maybe more. One of the more important aspects in a pack for me is to get one that has compression straps so that you can pull your pack load closer to your body, and not have the pack just hanging on your back. Make sure it fits good too, not like a book bag you used to use in high school.
The one thing you will know when you wear one is how comfortable they are, it almost feels like they are not there.
Now a 2000 c.i. pack is a little big. I have a large Dakine Heli-Pro, which is 1100 c.i., my wife wears a small Heli-Pro which is 900 c.i. We both have more than enough room with survival food, emergency shelter, etc. Then you add shovel, probe, climbing rope, and still have room left. So I can not imagine a 2000 c.i. pack, that is just about enough room to go backpacking for a weekend, with food and clothes
The Dakine's are just well designed for their intended uses, which is snow sports. They have external shovel pockets, the handle and probe goes in the loops on the sides, they do have load compression straps, daisy chain to attach snow shoes, climbing gear, etc. the little pocket on the hip belt is great. Hydration system ready, comes with straps to carry ski's or snowboard, great back pad, ec. These packs are designed for a specific purpose, which is close to our need, mountain riding since we carry basically the same gear as a backcountry skier or snowboarder and need a light, tight fitting pack since we are moving around just as much. We use the same packs for backcountry skiing and climbing.
Now I really do like Mountainsmith packs, they are very well designed for their intended uses, which is backpacking, epedition, etc. The only pack that Mountainsmith has which comes close to snowmobile use is the Boogeyman which is a summit pack, and has no provisions for a shovel, probes, etc. It does have a ice axe loop but no daisy chain.
Now if you are not a mountain rider, disregard.
Our sleds and my wife with her Dakine Heli-Pro in north of McCall, ID
Thanks for the reply KGMZ. Your right, a 2000ci is probably a little big, but it doesn't mean I have to take full advantage of all 2000ci. It is considered a daypack, and could be used for longer extended trips. To me, it seems as if they are taking into consideration the hydration compartment in that size. I have all of the fancy stuff as well, daisy chains, ski pockets with ski/pole loops, side compression straps........... I was just curious as to why so many that have chimed in on this topic primarily use the Dakine pack. My primary choice was a Kelty, but I settled for the Jansport becuase I only paid $55 for it at a local outdoorsman place that was going out of business. I've only been to one Dakine retailer in my area as well, Kelty and North Face are in numerous stores in my area. With fit being the biggest concern, like you said, "...like they are not there." My pack feels like that as I am a large framed guy at 6'5" and some of the smaller packs actually feel bothersome to me when I wear them, like the camel backs or platypus combo packs. I just wondered why Dakine so much 'cause when I go snow skiing it is primarily Kelty that I see.
Hey, how often do you get over to McCall? You said north of McCall, would that be going up towards the Burgborf/Warren area? I've always wanted to go up towards there, and plan to this year. Anyways that "area" is where I plan on doing 90% of my riding, as I have a back woods "cabin", (Northeast of Donnelly actually near Jughandle) that can only be gotten to by sled in the winter...........hmm, maybe that is why I bought such a large pack......lots of overnight stuff.
Since you are a big guy, I can see your point. It would be like me trying to wear a 8 year olds little school backpack.
We try to get to the McCall area a couple of times a winter for almost a week each time. Both the wife and I really like the area, and would like to move there. And will stop for a few days on our way to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole each winter. I have attached a map with a note where the pic was taken.
Oh yes, Brundage mountain. You seemed a little "high up" in that picture. I was going to mention Brundage but I didn't think there was much in the way of riding up there, just snow skiing. Hey, if you aren't too sure about the Burgdorf, Warren area, just take Warren Wagon road in McCall that follows Payette Lake. You turn North by the newly remodeled Shore Lodge Motel, and go North. The road goes back about 10-12 miles and then the county stops plowing the road. That is where the snow park is. Unload the sleds and you are off. There is a lot of pretty country back there. I've gone back there in the summer, but not in the winter. Hopefully this winter I will be able to go in there.
As for Brundage, I here there is a decent amount of snow up there already. Should be ready to open by Thanksgiving.
Hey folks, your on line look around at some of the clearances at web sites. The clearances are usually about half the price of the local counter sales. I picked up a Heli Pro II for $30. The best prices I found through local dealers was $60. I have also seen packs by Kelty, and several other manufacturers.
Try SierraTrading, Cabela's, or the Sportsman's Guide for starters.
Good luck and Safe Riding
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